The Pediatrician Visit from Hell

I took Alexa in for her first doctor’s visit today. My midwives perform all of the routine newborn checks and newborn screening. However, when I called the pediatric practice to schedule the 1 month well-visit, and they learned I had a homebirth, they told me they needed me to come in. STAT. As a result of being squeezed in for an appointment, I ended up being seen by an entirely new doctor from the practice.

I am so appalled by my treatment from that pediatrician.

Alexa, her Nai-nai, and I show up about 5 minutes early for our appointment. We end up waiting almost 40 minutes before we are finally seen. Alexa was a trooper and hardly fussy the whole time. But towards the end she begins to squirm and complain.

When the doctor finally strolls in, the first thing he asks me is, “Is she cute?”

I’m a little put off by the question but I politely answer, “Of course she is.”

He responds, “Not of course. I tell the front desk I only want to see the cute babies. If they’re not cute, I don’t see them.”

Then, completely ignoring Alexa’s fussing and my unenthusiastic response, he addresses Nai-nai.

He says, “What do you think, is she cute?”

WHO CARES!!!

Nai-Nai is also polite and says, “Of course.”

The doctor proceeds to go on a whole spiel about how Nai-Nai has to say that because she’s the grandparent. But he’s not so he doesn’t have to say she’s cute. Again – WHO CARES!! I’m already annoyed by his bedside manner and small talk. My baby is on the table getting upset after waiting for so long. I honestly don’t give a crap whether or not anyone thinks she’s cute, including myself.

Nai-nai, who is usually the queen of small talk, is completely on the same wavelength as I am and tells him, “Baby is getting impatient. We’ve been waiting for you for a very long time. We just want to leave soon.”

The doctor, failing to pick up on any social cues, saccharinely smiles and says, “Babies shouldn’t tell you what to do. They need to learn to be patient.”

I seriously want to kick him in the balls at this point.

Then he turns to me (and this is the part where it starts to really get good),  he asks, “Where did you give birth?”

I reply, “Home.”

He looks at me in mock horror. He asks me if I purposefully gave birth at home. I did. He asks me if my midwives had a backup hospital. They did not. I seriously get a lecture on why any good midwife is affiliated with a hospital in case something goes wrong. *Due to restrictive laws and liability issues, there are NO homebirth midwives associated with hospitals in NY. I’ve checked*

He tells me next time I should plan better and be more careful.

I snap, “There won’t be a next time.”

He tells me I never know. What I really mean is, there will never be a next time, with YOU.

Meanwhile, Alexa has started crying and I realize he’s not even going to begin to address her so I finally swoop her off the examination table. She’s in my arms, I’m rocking and shushing her, and he continues to lecture and grill me.

He proceeds to question whether I knew what Alexa’s Apgar scores were or if “they even did that.” He asks me if I even knew her weight at birth. He asks me if they even did the newborn screening. The whole time I’m trying to calm Alexa down and he’s making me feel like I gave birth like a feral animal and Alexa was delivered by wolves.

He finally, finally starts his examination of Alexa. But it seems like he’s moving as painfully slow as possible. All I want to do is take Alexa and run out of the room and never go back. In the middle of his examination, while Alexa is crying in his hands, and he’s listening to her with a stethoscope, he is still questioning me about my homebirth.

He asks, “Where in your home did you deliver?”

I tersely tell him, “My bed.”

He goes, “Oh good, you didn’t do it with the tub and all of that water.”

I say, “You mean waterbirth.”

He tells me, “Yea, I don’t understand how people do that. It must get so messy. How did you do it on your bed?”

I respond (and shame on me for continuing to have a conversation with him), “I put a tarp down and a bedsheet over it.”

And this is when he looks at me and says, “Oh, you mean like Dexter.”

Ladies and gentlemen, did this bastard just compare my beautiful homebirth to a scene from a serial killer’s lair? I feel like he completely sullied the careful and thoughtful choices I made about how I would give birth with his vile attitude and remarks.

The worst part is that the extra time he is spent on making me feel like a reckless and terrible mother caused him to prolong the examination with my crying newborn. I felt incredibly distraught, disrespected, and hurt by the whole ordeal.

I know there will be many people who don’t agree with my birth choices, my own mother included. I totally understand and respect that. But, be warned, the next time you question me about them while holding my crying infant hostage, I will probably punch you. In the face. HARD.

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5 Comments

  1. Emily October 27, 2015
    • Mommy to Max October 27, 2015
  2. Camille October 28, 2015
    • Mommy to Max October 30, 2015
  3. Melissa T. July 20, 2022

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